Some finished objects for Friday

As it’s Friday I thought I’d show off a few recently finished objects… I’ve been relatively quiet about crafting over the past few weeks, mainly because there’s been so much to share about food and gardening, but that does not that I’ve not been busy with my hooks and needles. I’ve made two pairs of snails – one of which has its own carry bag made out of an old pyjama leg (!) – a hedgehog (a commission which has gone to Belgium I think), a hat for my mum for her birthday, and some socks.

The hat and the colourful snail wool are both yarn that I bought from Colinette in January before they closed. The brown snail yarn is from West Yorkshire Spinners. The cream yarn used in all the snails is from The Inkpot. And the socks are knitted from Regia yarn for my swap with Kathryn.

So have you any finished objects to share… knitted, sewn, written, painted, drawn… anything creative?

A year and a day

Yesterday was my blog’s first birthday, and I missed it – I’ve never been any good at remembering anniversaries.

Over that year I wrote 120 posts and had more than 7000 hits. I wrote about floods and other water-related issues, gardening, death (human and chicken), starting a business, permaculture, knitting yarn, ethics, food, money and naming my hens after Terry Pratchett’s witches.

It turns out that the most common searches that have brought people here (other than ‘the snail of happiness’) are ‘eating slugs’ and ‘knitted bath puff pattern’… and, sadly, in both cases the searchers will have been disappointed. My conclusion about slugs was that, although you can, you probably wouldn’t want to; in the words of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall when discussing recipes he’d tried that included slugs:

leave out the slugs

And as for the bath puffs – crochet them, you get a much better puff.

There have been quite a lot of searches for snail cake, and I feel compelled, at some point to make a snail-shaped cake and write a post about this because it seems a popular subject. Mind you, the searchers might be looking for some sort of cake to feed to snails and that’s something I’m not willing to explore. Although I was recently involved in a discussion about starting a snail farm, which might be a good way to feed the hens.

There have also been some inexplicable searches that have led people here; I have no idea what a ‘finger lime tree’ is, nor why anyone would be searching for ‘work in the same box’ and I don’t even want to consider ‘soiled mice caging’. However, most of the searches are relevant, and I hope that readers have found answers to at least some of their questions or pictures of the things they were looking for. One or two of my posts have been inspired by searches, such as ‘can I keep chickens in a fruit cage?’ although, on reflection, it’s probably too late once the search has been done!

So, what’s to come in the next year? Well, hopefully reports of huge abundance in the garden, progress with my diploma in permaculture design, the etsy shop finally opening (and being successful) and lots more inspiration from comments, questions and reading other blogs.

And finally, one thing that has happened, but I have not blogged about is that Mr Snail-of happiness published the conclusion to his novel BATDIG on Kindle a few weeks ago. Check it out here.

BATDIG CoverBATDIG Part 2 Cover

Insomnia

It’s the time of year again when small children find it very difficult to get to sleep… something about some jolly guy in red descending down their chimney in the middle of the night. Come to think of it, that’s something I might start to lose sleep over… especially since I’m guessing he’s likely to wreck our gas fire.

Actually, I need little excuse to lose sleep… anything that gets lodged in my mind seems to resurface in the middle of the night and refuses to go away until about 20 minutes before I need to get up, at which point my brain switches off and I fall deeply asleep. It’s not too bad when I am at home – there is always the option of getting up, making a cup of tea and spending some time working, knitting or thinking about my permaculture diploma.

In fact, I rarely get up these days, preferring to remain warm and in bed, listening to a talking book on my mp3 player via headphones so as not to disturb Mr Snail-of-happiness (who rarely has trouble sleeping). Currently I’m listening to Chocolat by Joanne Harris. In fact, it’s not my ideal book to doze off to because I’m never heard or read it before (it’s different to the film). The best books to fall asleep to are old favourites, particularly children’s books, which make me think of my parents reading to me in bed as a child… Roald Dahl is particularly good and I’m waiting for someone to make a recording of The Overland Launch by C. Walter Hodges, a book I clearly remember my mother reading to me and my sister when we were young. Mr S-o-h has kindly made me a recording of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull which I listen to when he is away, so that I get to hear his voice, although part of the story makes me cry, which isn’t necessarily a good thing!

Insomnia socks!

Insomnia socks!

My real insomnia problem arises when I’m away from home. I go on courses quite often and end up sharing a room with people that I don’t know… sometimes even in a dormitory. Earlier this year I had to try to sleep in a very squeaky bunk bed in a room with six other people. Tossing and turning was simply not an option, so I ended up in the dining area at about 5am each day. I certainly go a lot of knitting done (see left). More recently I had to share a hotel room with someone I did not know at all and where there was no safe communal space to retreat to, so no chance of getting up and being creative… well I suppose I could have sat in the bathroom, but I think my room-mate would probably have been rather worried by that! So I had one almost completely sleep-free night when I achieved nothing.

The current hexipuff collection

The current hexipuff collection

And really this is my issue: I can see the point of sleep. It allows me to function properly the next day. If I have to have insomnia I’d really like to be able to treat it as an opportunity – making something, reading something, producing a permaculture design. And so, before I book any more courses I’m going to make sure that the place I’m staying has either single rooms or somewhere I can sit and knit worms, socks, snails or hexipuffs without scaring my fellow learners!

Searching high and low

One of the interesting features of WordPress is that, as an author, you can see the searches that people use to get to your blog. It’s a somewhat diverting activity and I have spent some time today examining the search engine terms that have brought people to investigate The Snail of Happiness.

I can certainly understand why you, dear reader, would arrive here as a result of searching for ‘knitted snail’ or even ‘chickens not eating slugs’, but I’m less sure of why you would be directed here as a result of typing in ‘homel things made by waste indian’ or ‘animals beginning with m’ (have I mentioned any animals beginning with m? oh, yes, there’s that post about a mouse eating my bean seeds). Or indeed that, having seen the Snail of Happiness blog in your list of search results for ‘sticky earthworm’, for example, why you would visit… although if that’s how you got here in the first place, then ‘welcome’ and apologies that the worms are rather more woolly than sticky.

I can only assume that the person who search for ‘food during rain in nitt’ arrived because there are mentions of  food, rain and Agnes Nitt (aka Perdita, a Terry Pratchett character that my chicken Perdy is named after) in various places. But, once again, if it’s you – welcome, and I’m glad you stayed!

Anyway, one way or another, folks are arriving. So, as a public service, I thought that I would try to address a selection of the questions and issues you have been seeking responses to…

can you drink worm wee tea?

Do you REALLY REALLY want to? Have you smelled it? Admittedly the dogs seem ridiculously interested in the stuff, but they eat dog food, so clearly have no taste!

gardening without mouse

Go for it! I always try to garden without mouse. I suspect the Beatrix Potter might have a different answer, though.

how does hugh fearnley whiitingstall stop slugs?

Actually, I don’t know the answer to this. I suggest that you ask Hugh – he seems like a nice chap, although I don’t know him either.

how much tomato can a slug eat?

How big is your slug? I’m guessing that if it’s one of those banana slugs, you’ll have to provide it with a really big tomato.

good explanation for cakes

Cakes are an essential part of the diet – they ensure happiness. Do not believe people who say they are bad for you.

i am a little earthworm

Congratulations, I am a Snail of Happiness.

can i keep chickens in a fruit cage?

Yes, but only if you don’t want any fruit.

growing snails in spare bedroom

I’m not sure whether you want to grow them in your spare bedroom… in which case I suggest a vivarium rather than having them free range… or whether you have them growing in your spare bedroom and want to get rid of them… in which case I have found chickens to be very effective (although they may make a bit of a mess).

amigurumi for happiness

Well, they make me happy… and if you make them with the ‘happiness yarn’ that someone else was searching for I don’t see how you can go wrong.

how to keep a pampered snail?

Is your snail pre-pampered? If so, it’s probably best to keep doing what you’ve been doing. If you are looking for new ways to pamper your snail, perhaps you could get together with the person who wants/has them in his spare bedroom and work something out between you.

And one final one, that has me stumped, perhaps other readers can help out:

the best potato you will ever see in your life because you probably won’t see very many potatoes because you have potatoes monia which means that you are afraid of potatoes which kind of cancelled this google search out because you have a retarded fear of potatoes………..freak

-oOo-

Honestly, these are all genuine search engine terms that people used to get to this blog… !

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